1906: Food writer Madame De Ryther journeys to Jamaica & comments on ship cuisine

The Atrato, owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

The Atrato, owned by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

In early spring 1906, 60-year-old American food writer Madame Jule de Ryther sailed from New York to Jamaica on the Atrato, a luxurious 6,000-ton steamer belonging to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. At that moment in history, according to De Ryther, Jamaica had become “the most popular resort in the world” and was “the mecca of most of the fashionable tourists of America.” The British steamship company tapped into that burgeoning demand, sending an increasing number of its ships to the West Indies on tours ranging from 12-53 days at a price of $90-$240. Madame De Ryther was extremely impressed by the Atrato‘s steady offerings of culinary delights: “There seems to be no limit in the provision of food products on board these steamers. Table luxuries and delicacies from all parts of the globe are set out at every meal.” Below is part of an article she wrote for the New York Press that describes some of her observations from that journey. The excerpt was published on May 14, 1906, in the Rome Daily Sentinel, a month after she arrived back in New York on the ship La Plata (on April 13, 1906, per Ellis Island records).

View from Fern Tree Walk Jamaica, ca. 1870, by Martin Johnson Heade

View from Fern Tree Walk Jamaica, ca. 1870, by Martin Johnson Heade (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Atrato_ad

New York Press, 13 January 1908 (Credit: fultonhistory dot com)

Cruise_14May1906_NY PRess_1 Cruise_14May1906_RomeDailySentinel_2 Cruise_14May1906_RomeDailySentinel_3 Cruise_14May1906_RomeDailySentinel_4

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Rome Daily Sentinel, 14 May 1906 (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

Categories: Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Jamaica, Madame Jule de Ryther | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “1906: Food writer Madame De Ryther journeys to Jamaica & comments on ship cuisine

  1. I want to take a West Indies cruise. The price is right: 12 to 53 days for only $90 to $240. 🙂

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